mark haddon: the curious incident of the dog in the night-time (2002)

It is extremely refreshing to read something new and more relevant once in a while. I do enjoy reading the Victorian novels, and I am not saying that they are not relevant, it is just that it is good to get some change and see that the today’s society can also produce great books among all the cheap bestsellers that are complete junk. No offence to 50 shades of gray readers but really. It is crap. Although I must say that the older books often fail to talk about the problems of the contemporary society triggered by the advanced technology so accessible to everyone and the social issues this brings about.

The other day I heard or saw a commerical or an advert that encouraged people to look up their phones every now and then and really notice the people around them. Also, to come out of the social media bubble and actually meet people. Sometimes I feel like I myself have this “social overload” feeling caused by the fact that I am always accessible on Facebook chat, and people ask me favous and need things, and share things. I do not really fancy going out and physically meeting them anymore. After all, there is not so much to talk about anymore – I have seen all the news though Facebook or they have already updated me on chat. Only the people who are not so active online seem to be interesting these days. Think about this issue and think 10 years ago. Would have seemed like a show from black mirror, or some sort of an utopic novel to think that adverts to become more social and not spend your time only behind the computer screen. Also, listening to the radio the other day, the question was asked that what are the biggest problems of society today. And a guy said that the fact that there is TOO much information that you need to filter. I still remember my classes in basic school when I had to write essays and I had this one book, an encyclopedia of sorts, and this was the only source of information I had – perhaps some other books in the library on the topic, and then I did have my 3 sources for the essay. A nicely written summary of the little these books provided on the subject. Now there is so much information that when searching for something, you first have to doubt whether it is a reliable source, then you are just frustrated that there is too much info, and then you selectively ready some views, and close to the deadline find out of a completely different side of the story, and then you are just going crazy because you are not sure which theory to argue over because both have good points. Rant over. I love contemporary books and talking about these issues. Although this book was not about a contemporary issue per se, but perhaps something that would have not been talked about in the past that much and that openly. The book is written by an autistic 15-year old in a meta style, because he writes how he is writing this book.

The book is so honest and direct and simple that it really gets through to you. I have this thing for platonic and direct people which could be called a love-hate relationship. Sometimes I really hate it when people are too direct (especially when it is unnecessarily stupid and they ae just being rude), but a lot of the times it is so liberating and great to talk to such people. The book in its style of plain drawings, mathemathical quizzes and concreteness is very powerful.

I found a totally alternative way of thinking in it being an overthinker myself. Often, when someone says something, we made our deductions and we jump into conclusions and do not ask for further explanations or anything because we have made up our minds. Well, Christopher, the autistic boy in the book, does not make any conclusions based on people’s vague statements at all, and always asks for clarifications. Although in real life, if someone constantly did that, it would probably drive you crazy, in the book it was almost comical. Why don’t we actually do that?


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